Key Elections Coming Up

The unseasonably hot weather is supposed to break this week, and we’re forecast to get a little more rain. We’ve actually had to move in off the porch in the late afternoons, when the sun is directly on it. We don’t do that very often, but when we do, we try to time dinner so that we’re eating it on the porch as the sun is going down. That’s about when the katydids start, and they’ve been very noisy lately. I imagine that the wet spring helped them, just as it has helped the woods return to a more normal appearance.

The TVA has opened the old highway over the dam to traffic, which is nice. They have also varied their usual release schedule to try to help the trout survive the hot weather, by releasing more often, for shorter periods of time. So far, it seems to be working.

The July 4th celebration in downtown Blue Ridge seemed to be a success, despite the very hot weather. I don’t think it was as well attended as it usually is, because most of our visitors seemed to be unaware that it was being held early. The parade was a lot of fun, and I finally got a chance to see the famous Abominable Band. They played in the parade and also did a concert after the parade.

The Primary Election is scheduled for July 31, and early voting has already begun. This is a very important election for Fannin County, as there have been several retirements in key offices, and there are a raft of candidates in the field. For those who are not initiated into the election ritual here: In Fannin County, the Republican Primary is the election. Especially in a general election year, the chances of an Independent or Democratic candidate winning is remote. It has happened, but it doesn’t happen often. So, if you want to vote, you will want to vote in the Republican Primary, by requesting the Republican ballot at the polls.

Key races are for Sheriff, with Blue Ridge Police Chief Johnny Scearce challenging incumbent Dane Kirby, Probate Judge, Superior Court Judge, and District Attorney. It is safe to say that, with the number of candidates, that there will be a runoff for most positions. So a word about that. We no longer register Republican or Democratic in Georgia. You can vote in either primary, but you can’t vote in both. If there is a runoff – as I expect there will be – you must vote the same ballot that you voted previously. In other words, you cannot vote in the Republican Primary and the Democratic Runoff.

There is also a special ballot item for a transportation tax, the so-called T-SPLOST. If voted in, this will add an additional 1% sales tax for ten years in each district which elects it. There are twelve Georgia districts. The one including Fannin County is District 1, and it includes most of Northwest Georgia. The idea is to fund local transportation projects. I’m skeptical that this will pass in the current environment, and I think I’m against it myself, because I’m not sure that all of the projected projects are truly needed and will be done with appropriate environmental sensitivity.

The Georgia Mountain Fair is on from June 20 – June 29 in Hiwassee. If you’ve never been, it is well worth going. The exhibit halls alone are worth the price of admission, and there are lots of vendors, demonstrations, and musical events. The Barker Brothers are scheduled to play on July 25th at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM. Bluegrass day is the 26th, with Don Rigsby & Midnight Call, Tim Graves, Daryl Mosely & Farm Country, and the Cleverlys. So that’s two days of bluegrass. The music isn’t included with the gate fee any more, but it is still very reasonable: $5 gate (under 10 free), $10 additional for music, and $2 parking.

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